By Steve Wall
How did you start the company?
The idea for the business started back in 2012 during the early bow hunting season. I was then that I claimed one of my biggest bucks that I had been after for several years. I was so excited to have finally claimed Brutus, the name I had given the buck, that I knew I needed something special to memorialize him. I did a quick search for a unique personalized plaque for him but turned out to only find generic wood plaques, which was quite disappointing. Thats when I decided, being the creative person I am, that I would create my own. I knew I wanted something different and unique that would also help me to remember the moment I claimed him. I wanted it to demonstrate how and when I claimed him along with his name on it for all to see, as I was quite proud. So after designing it up and making it using the CNC plasma I have access to, I hung it up proudly next to him on my wall. Over the course of the next few months several of my good friends saw what I did. They commented on how much they liked it and how they would like one themselves. At that point I realized that maybe I have something here. I began to come up with various other unique designs and it began to snowball into what it is today.
How long have you been in business?
I officially launched the product at the Hunting expo in Wausau, February of 2014. So its been a little over a year now.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Because Im an artist at heart, I really enjoy coming up with new unique ideas for designs. I pride myself in the work I do, so I spend copious amount of hours working a design till Im completely happy with it. They can be tricky sometimes so to get the perspective I want along with the proportions correct. I do also really enjoy connecting with my customers be it through social media or at trade shows. Its great being able to talk with them about their hunting or fishing experiences. I really do love that fact that I can bring them joy being able to create something that they will cherish forever and will help they to remember that moment they claimed that trophy.
What are your most popular products?
One of the most popular and eye catching products I offer is what I call the poor mans life size deer and turkey mounts. These are life size metal cutouts that you attach either your deer head or your turkey fan tail to, in order to give the appearance of a life size animal. Its really a unique concept and different approach to displaying your trophy. Im always looking to push the envelope when creating designs and these are a great representation of that.
Who is your target audience?
My target audience is really anyone and everyone that enjoys hunting and fishing. More specifically the ones that have taxidermy work hanging in there house. A great way Ive found to reach these people are through taxidermists. Each and every person that walks through their door is a potential customer of mine.
What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?
My favorite hunting memory, as I stated earlier, would be claiming Brutus during the 2012 bow hunting season. I had been after him for quite some time; two years earlier he was a nice 8 pointer and the following a dandy 10. Both of which I never was able to claim eyes on, but had tons of trail camera pictures of him. When it came to the 2012 season, I was so excited to see he had still been around. I devoted countless hours prepping for the season with getting food plots and tree stands ready. After moving trail cameras several times, I was able to pattern him to a certain location that I believed I had my best chance. It was the opening day of early bow season and my buddy and I went to our land to hunt. We got into our own stands around 4pm or so. It wasnt two hours later that I heard some rustling and in walks Brutus through some brush off in the distance. Not only that, but there was another smaller, yet big buck right behind him. Mind you these are possibly the two biggest bucks Ive ever seen in my lifetime, so words cannot even explain the excitement I was feeling. I could barely contain myself. They both began to make their way right towards my stand as I had planned. It was when Brutus reached about 30 yards out that he stopped behind some trees, not giving me the shot I wanted. The other buck was a bit further behind him as well. Something in that moment changed in his mind and he began to back off and circle back around. I knew the way he was intending to go and with that there was only going to be a small window of opportunity to shoot. Just as he crossed the very narrow path that I walk into my stand, I grunted to stop him. I then shot, practically threading the needle through the lane hoping to miss the few twigs that were in view. My arrow hit its mark as I watched both of these monster bucks run off into the distance. It was at this point that I let out a huge noise of excitement for my buddy to hear from across our property. He of course knew right then what had happened. After giving the buck some time and what seemed like forever, we went back after dark to retrieve him. He ended up taking us on quite the loop taking us on a 2 to 3 hour track at which there was a couple points we were about to give up for the evening. But as luck has it, at about 11pm we found him about 300 yards away. It was quite an exciting moment through all the trials and tributes and couldnt have been better spent with my good friend. Its definitely a story we enjoy from time to time. Its moments like these that I cherish and look forward to in the future endeavors.
Be sure to head over and check out all of the other great designs Trophy Tags has to offer on their website!!! Trophy Tags will also do custom designs!!
Would you like to WIN a turkey plaque like the one shown above? Head over to the Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits Facebook page and get entered to WIN!!!
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